Bring a Loupe: A Mint Movado World Timer, A 'Nina Rindt' Compax, And A Jet-Set Longines



It’s that time of the week again, so take a seat, get comfortable, and do your best to resist temptation. This installment of the roundup features picks like an impossibly mint Movado world timer along with a similarly jet-set Longines. For the chronograph heads, we’ve got a Nina Rindt Compax of the highest quality, in addition to a bit of a project Breitling. And, just because, a book of risqué complications.

Universal Genève Compax Ref. 885103/02

UG

Like Heuer, UG is another one of those brands that experienced a boom and then mellowed out, but perhaps not as much. Those that followed the market will know the culprit behind Universal Genève’s resurgent rise to stardom to be this Compax variant, notably associated with the model Nina Rindt. Between the celebrity association, the Valjoux 72 under the hood, its perfect sizing, and that oh-so-good panda dial, it’s one of those watches that’s bound to be collectible forever, explaining its continued strength despite an otherwise less ravenous demand for pieces from the now-defunct Swiss watchmaker. If good looks and perpetual collectibility are your jam, keep reading. 

UG

To the untrained eye, this is merely a Nina Rindt Compax, but to describe it as such would be to deprive you of the juicy nitty-gritty that makes vintage watch collecting so much fun. This is the Mark 2 variant of the reference, distinguished by the printed logo on its dial and the “SWISS T 25” text below the six o’clock marker. Later examples like this with 2.5 million serials and on were also fitted with black hour and minute hands, along with block-shaped hands within the subdials. Altogether, it’s got a decidedly funkier look than those that came before it, without straying too far from the genius of the original design. 

UG

I can confidently say that this is easily among the top three best examples of the coveted chronograph to hit the market in recent years, thanks to its present condition and completeness. You’ll find no flaws on its dial or correct dot over 90 bezel, and the original crystal fitted case remains thick. Intensifying its appeal is the presence of its original box, hang tags, Gay Fréres bracelet, and papers, which indicate the watch was originally sold in Japan. Not sure why, but these seem to have been big in Japan, way back when, as I’ve come across a strange amount of these with Japanese provenance.

The home of all things cool and horological in Los Angeles – Wanna Buy A Watch – has this piece listed for $23,500. Should you dig, get in touch.

Movado Polygraph Ref. 18150

Movado

Encountering certain pieces early on has the ability to forge lifelong admirations for certain classes of watchmaking. Although I’d seen pieces online prior, my first experience with a world time complication in the metal was when a friend handed me the Ref. 5131P off his wrist, however many years back. I was immediately left in awe and have since paid close attention to the offering of noteworthy pieces featuring the uniquely functional complication. That’s why, when I saw this next piece, I knew it deserved to be shared with you.

Movado

You’re looking at a Movado Polygraph that dates back to the early 1950s, and a stunning example, to boot. The legendary manufacture produced these with both stainless steel (Ref. 18149) and gold-filled cases (Ref. 18150), and while I’d usually opt for the less-deceiving alloy, there’s something special about this watch with a yellow case. Maybe it doesn’t have that solid-gold watch cachet, but the warmer tone works rather nicely with the yellow and blue world time accents, which also aren’t found on the steel variant. All this is powered by Movado’s 15 jewel Cal. 129, which while not finished to the same grade as other pieces from the brand, still sports epic architecture. 

Movado

Every time I’ve come across one of these, which isn’t all that often, they’ve been painfully tired looking. Whether that’s a result of globetrotting or a strangely careless crop of owners, I’m not sure, but this one is anything but tired. In fact, it truly looks like it’s never seen a wrist. Even the coin-edge rotating bezel’s edges remain strongly defined, which is complemented by the 100% spotless dial. This is the sort of condition Movado collectors dream of. 

Private Eyes of Tokyo has this Polygraph on their site, and the ask is set at ¥780,000, equating roughly to $7,300. You won’t find another one like it, so act accordingly if it speaks to you.

1947 Longines Hour Angle Ref. 4365

Longines

You’d be hard-pressed to find a pilot that uses a Longines “Lindbergh” with an Hour Angle complication as intended in this day and age, for the simple reason that technology advanced since the 1940s. To put it lightly, it used to be a royal pain in the behind to figure out where on Earth you were amidst a sea of clouds, which is kind of important if you ask most pilots. With the introduction of GPS, the days of using a little math to determine one’s longitudinal location are long gone, but the singular charm of an attractive Lindbergh hasn’t faded in the slightest. 

This is one such Lindbergh, corresponding with the reference number 4365 and measuring a whopping 47 mm across. While it might not be quite as wearable as other pieces from the watchmaker, it’s undoubtedly the most important tool watch in their back catalog and a grail-tier piece for many Longines collectors. Given the age and the fact that a great deal were used as true tools, examples like this naturally show signs of wear. Its bezel has a bit of oxidation on its surface, and the enameled dial has a small crack, but it’s nothing ridiculous and is an honest watch through and through. 

Longines

As someone who finds associated paperwork and context-affording ephemera to often be more compelling than the watches themselves, it’s a delight to see the original paperwork and receipt included in the sale of this Longines. This is something I’ve never seen before and is more or less why this piece has been included this week. According to these documents, this example was originally sold by C. Lejhanec a Syn of Pardubice, Czechoslovakia – a Czech authorized dealer of Longines at the time. In addition to diamonds, gold, and silver jewelry, this retailer sold a variety of watches, which is why you’ll find the word “HODINKY” printed proudly on one of the invoices. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? 

Longines

Antiquorum is offering this Longines in their sale taking place on Sunday with an estimate of $27,600 — $38,500. More details along with the rest of the catalog can be found here.

Breitling Premier Ref. 787

Breitling

If you go deep enough into the collecting game, and you’re going about it the right way, you’re bound to take on a project at some point. The truth of the matter is, there’s a great deal of attractive older watches which are outstanding save for one detail, and therefore need a little TLC. Considering that more supposedly unmolested watches than you can imagine have been in such states at one point, I thought we’d keep things moving with a relevant candidate for a patient collector. Without much hassle, you could have a relative deal on your hands, and a good looking one at that. 

Breitling

You’re looking at a Premier chronograph which corresponds with the reference number 787. This 1940s timepiece features a stainless steel case which measures a respectable 35.5mm across, affording it Goldilocksian proportions that are neither too big nor too small. It’s powered by the workhorse that is the column wheel-equipped Cal. 178 by Venus, and if you’re skeptical of its reliability, consider just how many decades Breitling fitted these movements in their watches. With luminous Arabic numerals and matching syringe-shaped hands finished in blued steel, there’s little not to like about this configuration considered to be one of the best by Breitling collectors. 

Breitling

Overall, this chronograph has been preserved well and is now being offered in nicely patinated, honest shape. While the photos might not be the highest resolution, they appear to show an unpolished case, along with a lightly albeit evenly spotted dial. The single flaw to note, which you’ve likely already spotted, is the missing crown and stem. Realistically, it wouldn’t be all that difficult to track down these parts, and you’ll likely be into the watch for less than you would with them present when all’s said and done. As I’ve discussed before, many seemingly “all-original” watches sold today have once needed a refresh, and the project watch is more or less essential to the future of vintage watch collecting. This is a great way to give an horological project a go without kicking off a wild goose chase. 

An eBay seller out of Glen Mills, Pennsylvania has this Breitling up for grabs in an auction that’ll come to a close on Monday evening. At the time of publishing, the high bid stands at $810.

Les Heures de L’Amour by Roland Carrera

L'Amour

Everyone’s got their so-called guilty pleasures, and I’m no exception, except I’ve no guilt in having them. When it comes to watches, there’s a short list of pieces I know to either not be anything all that remarkable or not necessarily in line with my tastes, but they still speak to me for whatever reason. Pieces like a ceramic Panerai Radiomir have tempted me for years, and at the more risqué end of the spectrum — erotic watches. On one hand, I’m fascinated by the complexity of these animated automata and have the utmost respect for those that have crafted these pieces throughout history, but on the other, you just can’t dispute the hilarity of miniature folks going at it on a watch dial. 

Buying and reading — the latter part is key — books on watches is probably the second-best way to get versed in horology after handling watches. Naturally, this hardcover read explains the inner workings of these watches, but it goes further through its detailed explanation of the history behind certain scenes and the significance of specific mechanical developments. All this helps hit home the idea that such complications aren’t mere novelties, but instead an important chapter in the craft’s evolution. 

L'Amour

In that there’s only so much I can say about a book I’ve not personally read and am recommending on the account of friends lucky enough to have copies in their libraries, I thought I’d take a moment to address the difference between researched scholarly efforts and something a guy who heard from another guy has to say. There’s definitely knowledge to be imparted from reading online forums, but books put out by Swiss horological publishing houses from this era can be held to much a higher standard. That’s why I’ll always advocate for the purchase of pre-collecting boom literature.

The Illinois-based seller is looking for $160 for their copy of the book, but you also have the option to make an offer. Should you require a quarantine read of a different sort, hit that link.

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